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London, 14th November 2001: PORTIA, the global investment industry's favourite portfolio management system, has entered the Austrian market following its successful implementation at Erste Bank, Austria's largest savings institution and Central Europe's leading financial services group.
What is more, this first phase provides the 'springboard' for PORTIA to be introduced in more than 60 savings banks within Austria, with further plans for its subsidiaries in the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary.

Erste Bank chose PORTIA to supersede its former software system because of its powerful portfolio management, modelling and report writing capabilities. An additional requirement of the new system was to be able to handle securities split into several different currencies.

Phase one of the migration project was achieved on the agreed target date of
July 9th 2001, when PORTIA went live and all transaction processing was automated for the first time. PORTIA is currently trading with 450 portfolios at Erste.

Phase two will see the addition of PORTIA's analytical tools including decision support and modelling, the rebalancing of funds and automatic order generation. These facilities are on course to go live by the project completion date of December 31st 2001.

Speaking about the project, Horst Weichselbaumer, Head of Consultancy for Security Operations, Erste Bank commented: "We are completely restructuring our investment management process, with the ability to handle growing trading volumes right across the Erste group. Not only should PORTIA be able to meet our expansion plans, but we have formed a close working relationship with Thomson Financial's implementation staff which I hope will become even stronger in the exciting months ahead."

Jeremy Cornish, Thomson Financial project manager, added: "This has been a complex and challenging project, with no less than nine major interfaces for PORTIA to link with and an ambitious timetable for implementation. Our success in delivering it is down to a close partnership on the ground between our consultants and representatives of both Erste Bank and Spardat, who provide Erste's back-office requirements."

December 31st 2001 is not the end of Thomson Financial's involvement with Erste Bank. The company is looking forward to the roll-out of PORTIA to the majority of Erste's subsidiary banks, which will be taking place during 2002/03. In the meantime, Erste's Vienna office benefits from a German-speaking relationship manager, ongoing training, and a 24-hour helpdesk manned by Thomson Financial employees.